Steering Committee

  • Professor Vicki Flenady

    Professor Vicki Flenady

    Director; Co-lead Risk Factors; Co-lead Implementation


    Professor Vicki Flenady leads the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence which aims to reduce stillbirths and improve care for families when a child is stillborn through high quality research and raising community awareness.  Vicki was lead author on The Lancet’s stillbirth series in 2011 and 2016. Vicki’s research currently focused on stillbirth prevention through better understanding of causal pathways and risk factors and is currently leading a large-scale trial on a mobile phone app for women on fetal movements to reduce stillbirth rates. With a clinical background in midwifery and neonatal nursing and masters and PhD in perinatal epidemiology in stillbirth prevention, Vicki has a keen interest in addressing evidence practice gaps in maternity care. Vicki is an active member of the International Stillbirth Alliance. 

  • Professor David Ellwood

    Professor David Ellwood

    Co-director; Co-lead Risk Factors

    David Ellwood is Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Deputy Head of School (Research) at Griffith University School of Medicine, and also Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Gold Coast University Hospital. He was one of the first sub-specialists in maternal-fetal Medicine in Australia and remains an active clinician and researcher. Professor Ellwood is also the academic lead for equity, selections and diversity.

  • Associate Professor Philippa Middleton

    Associate Professor Philippa Middleton

    Co-lead Implementation

    Philippa Middleton is a Principal Research Fellow in the Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children Theme of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and an Affiliate Associate Professor, School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide.  As a perinatal epidemiologist and implementation scientist, she specialises in randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, research synthesis, guidelines, research reporting standards and translating research evidence into policy and practice. Her areas of expertise include preterm birth, nutrition, diabetes, stillbirth and health disparities, and she has a particular interest in Indigenous health.

  • Professor Jonathan Morris

    Professor Jonathan Morris

    Co-lead Research Capacity Development; Co-lead Care After Stillbirth


    Jonathan Morris is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist.  Currently, Professor Morris is Director of The Kolling Institute, based at Royal North Shore Hospital. The Institute aims to embed high quality biomedical research within health to realize its mission of research discovery, development, delivery and dissemination for healthy people, healthy lives and communities. Professor Morris also leads the Perinatal Research Division within the Kolling Institute, a team comprising over 30 researchers in Basic Science, Clinical and Population Health Perinatal Research.

  • Professor Euan Wallace

    Professor Euan Wallace

    Co-lead Prediction and Placenta


    Euan Wallace currently holds clinical positions as Head of Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Monash University; Director of Obstetric Services at Monash Health; and Co-Director, The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research.  Over a period of 25 years, Professor Wallace’s research has addressed diverse aspects of fetal and maternal medicine, including fetal development and maternal physiology.  The major areas of research currently being addressed by his group are: fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia, placental ageing and stillbirth, and cell therapies.

  • Dr Adrienne Gordon

    Dr Adrienne Gordon

    Co-lead Risk Factors; Lead Public Awareness


    Doctor Adrienne Gordon is known nationally, and emerging internationally, as a clinician and academic establishing a strong research career in the area of stillbirth and adverse perinatal outcomes. Currently a Neonatologist in the RPA centre for newborn care, Dr Gordon is also an NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the University of Sydney. Having completed a PhD on risk factors for stillbirth, her current ECR Fellowship aims to develop and pilot test a culturally appropriate information resource for pregnant women targeting health behaviours that can optimise pregnancy outcome.

  • Ms Kate Lynch

    Ms Kate Lynch

    CEO, Stillbirth Foundation Australia

    Kate Lynch joined Stillbirth Foundation Australia as CEO in September 2018, where she is working to reduce the incidence of stillbirth, improve support where it does occur and ensure more healthy births through research, education and advocacy.

    Prior to the joining the Foundation, Kate served as the Chief Executive Officer of the industry association for generic medicines for almost six years. Over a twenty five year career in the pharmaceutical and healthcare technology industry, Kate has worked with products spanning pre-clinical through to off-patent status. Her industry experience is with major pharmaceutical, bio-technology, local start-up, device and consultancy.

    Kate has led many highly coordinated campaigns, successfully delivering funded access to healthcare products in the ANZ market, by developing value propositions supported by robust clinical and economic outcomes research, statistically pooled data and informed by local expert advice. She values strong relationships and believes that through collaboration positive and lasting change can be achieved.

    Kate has a Masters of Economics, Graduate Diploma in Health Economics and a Bachelor of Economics with Honours. She has four teenage children and in addition to motherhood, enjoys skiing and sailing.

  • Professor Sailesh Kumar

    Professor Sailesh Kumar

    Co-lead Prediction and Placenta

    Professor Kumar is a Maternal and Fetal Medicine Sub-specialist at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane and Head of the Academic Discipline of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Queensland. He leads an active research group collaborating across specialities both in basic science as well as clinical projects. Professor Kumar is also Visiting Professor at the Imperial College in London and is actively involved in both clinical practice and research.

  • Associate Professor Fran Boyle

    Associate Professor Fran Boyle

    Co-lead Care After Stillbirth


    Associate Professor Fran Boyle is a social scientist with qualifications in psychology and public health. Fran’s research focuses on people’s lived experiences of health, health services and the health system. Her expertise and experience is in the application of social sciences methods (quantitative and qualitative) and health systems thinking to guide policy and practice. Fran brings to the Stillbirth CRE a detailed understanding of perinatal bereavement and, as co-lead of the Care after Stillbirth program, is committed to improving outcomes for women and families through the implementation and evaluation of best practice parent-centred perinatal bereavement care.


  • Professor Christine East

    Professor Christine East

    Co-lead Clinical Education; Co-lead Research Capacity Development

    Christine East has extensive research and clinical experience and wide reaching collaborative networks. These have enabled the development of research efforts for evaluating and improving the perinatal health of Australia’s mothers and babies. Professor East’s research networks and endeavours compliment her appointment as the inaugural Professor of Midwifery, Monash University and Monash Health, Victoria, given her detailed understanding of the interface between the clinical setting and academia. Professor East has led changes to clinical practice at Monash Health through the introduction of evidence-based guidelines and internationally through systematic reviews of her own and others’ studies.

  • Dr Dell Horey

    Dr Dell Horey

    Co-lead Care After Stillbirth

    Dr Horey has qualifications in science and epidemiology and a strong background in consumer participation. She has undertaken a range of research projects using mixed methods and has advanced skills in conceptual thinking. She is an Editor with the Cochrane Collaboration Consumers and Communication Review Group and was the Australasian Coordinator for the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Review Group Consumer Panel from 1999 to 2007. Dr Horey was a Research Fellow at La Trobe University from 2006 to 2013 and previously held similar roles at the Centre for Adolescent Health at Melbourne University and the Health Issues Centre.

  • Professor Jeremy Oats

    Professor Jeremy Oats

    Perinatal Mortality Audit and Classification; Clinical guidelines

    Jeremy Oats has a strong record both nationally and internationally as a clinical academic Obstetrician specialising in the epidemiology of gestational diabetes and causes of mortality and morbidity related to pregnancy. With leadership roles in a number of major organizations responsible for the provision and enhancement of maternity services, Professor Oats has a proven capacity to play central and active roles in the translation of clinical research into both national and international practice enhancement. He is the Chair of the Victorian Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity, Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. He is a consultant Obstetrician at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. He is Co-Chair of the National Clinical Practice Guidelines – Antenatal Care and member of the AIHW National Maternal Mortality and Perinatal Mortality Advisory Group. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the ANZ Child Death Review and Prevention Group.

  • Professor Yee Khong

    Professor Yee Khong

    Perinatal Pathology

    Yee Khong has research interests in diagnostic placental pathology and social and diagnostic aspects of the perinatal autopsy. Professor Khong was an invited expert to contribute to the chapter on placental pathology in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’s Taskforce on Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy. He also recently convened an international collaboration to harmonise placental examination, nomenclature and definition of lesions (Amsterdam Placental Workshop Group). Professor Khong has been a tutor for the International Paediatric Pathology Association Advanced Course in 2001 and 2013, and the Update Course in 2015.

  • Professor Vicki Clifton

    Professor Vicki Clifton

    Co-lead: Placental biomarkers of pregnancies at risk of stillbirth

    Professor Vicki Clifton is a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow who is currently the Program leader of Mothers and Babies Theme at Mater Medical Research Institute in Brisbane Australia. Vicki was employed at the Robinson Research Institute, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health at the University of Adelaide from January 2008 to April 2015 after many years at the Mothers and Babies Research Centre in Newcastle, Australia. While at the Robinson Research Institute she was Director of Clinical Research at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide, Australia (2009-2014) and leader of the Allergy Research Priority. Prof Clifton spent many years as Treasurer and then President of the Endocrine Society of Australia (2004-2013). She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and obtained a Diploma of Management from the University of Adelaide. Prof Clifton is internationally recognized for her research into the human placenta and is currently Editor of the Placenta Journal (2012-present). She is also an Executive member of the International Society of Endocrinology Board that oversees and supports the activities of the national societies of endocrinology in 80 countries around the world. Her current research focusses on the impact of maternal asthma and other health complications during pregnancy on placental function, fetal growth and childhood development. She has a specific interest in the sex specific differences in the fetal-placental response to a complication of pregnancy understanding the different strategies male and female fetuses institute to cope with an adverse event in pregnancy and how this ensures their survival in early life.

  • A/Prof Emily Callander

    A/Prof Emily Callander

    Health Economics

    Emily Callander is a Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University. She is also an honorary associate at the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, University of Sydney. Doctor Callander specialises in measuring the impact of health on family living standards and is part of an internationally leading research team quantifying the productivity impacts of illness, including leading her own research program making advances in clinical trials to capture productivity benefits of new neonatal interventions and impacts for families and government. 

  • Professor Susan McDonald

    Professor Susan McDonald

    Midwifery mentorship; Clinical guidelines

    Susan McDonald currently holds a full time joint professorial appointment between La Trobe University and Mercy Health in Victoria. Her role encompasses research training and education for midwives, women’s health and neonatal nurses. Professor McDonald is a member of the PSANZ ANZSA Steering Committee , a trainer for IMproving Perinatal mortality Review and Outcomes Via Education (IMPROVE), and has been involved in the development of a new PSANZ ANZSA education program related to fetal growth and prevention of stillbirth. Professor McDonald is the deputy Chair, Consultative Council for Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality Morbidity, and a member of the maternal, mortality, morbidity, and stillbirth sub committees. 

  • A/Prof Jane Warland

    A/Prof Jane Warland

    Stillbirth researcher and midwife

    Associate Professor Jane Warland is a passionate researcher in the area of preventative and modifiable risk factors for stillbirth. Her program of research is STELLAR (stillbirth, teaching, epidemiology, loss, learning, awareness and risks). Since becoming an academic in 2008 she has won more than ¼ million (AUD) in research funding, has more than 80 publications (books, chapters, journal articles) and she has presented her research at more than 40 conferences both national (Australian) and international.

  • Ms Anita Guyett

    General manager of bereavement care, Sands

  • Ms Aleena Wojcieszek

    Ms Aleena Wojcieszek

    Associate Investigator; ECR lead: Care After Stillbirth; Co-lead: Care in subsequent pregnancies following stillbirth; PhD candidate

    Mater Research Institute - The University of Queensland


    Aleena’s research background is in health psychology and clinical perinatal epidemiology specific to reproductive health and decision-making. Her current work is focused on implementation science in the context of perinatal health, particularly improving mothers’ and babies’ health and preventing adverse pregnancy outcomes such as stillbirth.

    Aleena worked on the Lancet series on Ending Preventable Stillbirths, published in January 2016, where she co-authored two series papers and drafted the series executive summary. She has also collaborated with the World Health Organization and Norwegian Institute of Public Health to develop global frameworks and customisable technical tools for electronic health registries for maternal and child health – coined eRegistries. Aleena is a Cochrane systematic reviewer and member of the Australasian node of the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. She also works closely with the International Stillbirth Alliance and is a member of its scientific network and working groups.

    Aleena is an Associate Investigator on the Stillbirth CRE and Early Career Researcher (ECR) lead for its Care After Stillbirth program. She is currently completing a PhD on informing clinical practice for care during subsequent pregnancies following a stillbirth and co-leads the Stillbirth CRE's subsequent pregnancy research stream.

  • Dr Glenn Gardener

    Dr Glenn Gardener

    Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist

    Dr Glenn Gardener is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist and Director of the Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals.

    Dr Gardener has a long held interest in fetal therapy including in-utero surgery and is currently the only specialist in Australia and New Zealand performing fetal surgery for diaphragmatic hernia and spina bifida. He regularly performs surgery for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in-utero blood transfusions and other complex in-utero procedures.

    With a particular interest in the prevention of stillbirth, Dr Gardener is involved in research and is a current board member for the International Stillbirth Alliance and leads a Fetal Therapy Special Interest Group through the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ).

    Dr Gardener is actively involved in teaching obstetric ultrasound and passing on his skills to new doctors.

  • Ms Billie Bradford

    Ms Billie Bradford

    PhD Candidate (Midwifery)

    Billie Bradford is currently PhD student at the University of Auckland and Midwife at Hutt Valley Hospital. She is a mother of five who lives in Wellington. While reviewing cases of perinatal death at her previous hospital Billie developed an interest in fetal movements and a fervent hope that research into life before birth might reduce stillbirths. She regularly escapes the Wellington wind for Auckland where she is a full-time PhD student in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland.

  • Ms Robin Cronin

    Ms Robin Cronin

    PhD Candidate (Midwifery)

    Robin Cronin is a PhD student researching modifiable risk factors for late stillbirth at the University of Auckland. For the last 4 years she has been the part time project coordinator on the recently completed University of Auckland, New Zealand Multicentre Stillbirth Study. Robin also works in a clinical role as team leader of the Auckland University of Technology education and development service at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland. She has a Master’s degree in Midwifery and an extensive nursing and midwifery background.

  • Dr Lynn Sinclair

    Dr Lynn Sinclair

    President, Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand

    Dr Lynn Sinclair is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with the NSW Pregnancy and newborn Services Network (PSN), Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Women's and Children's Health UNSW and Associate of the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology Sydney. She is an active member of several of the PSANZ’s subcommittees including chair of the policy subcommittee and member of the IMPACT Network. Lynn’s PhD highlighted the effects of workplace culture and interpersonal relationships on knowledge generation and translation. Her current research interests include ascertaining how knowledge of neonatal health outcomes informs nursing practice and improving the parent experience including identifying more effective ways of presenting extremely preterm infant outcomes data.

  • Professor Lesley McCowan

    Professor Lesley McCowan

    Maternal Fetal Medicine sub-specialist

    Professor Lesley McCowan is a sub-specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine who became Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland in 2009. In 2011 she received a New Year’s Honour (Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit) for services to health.

    Her clinical work is in high risk pregnancy, especially pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction, and she chairs the National Women’s Hospital perinatal mortality review process. She was a founding member of the National Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee which reports on perinatal mortality nationally. Lesley is also the secretary of the New Zealand Committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

  • Professor Caroline Homer

    Professor Caroline Homer

    Partner, Australian College of Midwives; Clinical guidelines


    Caroline Homer is currently the President of the Australian College of Midwives and is a registered midwife in Australia. She has led research into the development and implementation of innovative models of midwifery care and the development of midwifery practice and education.  Professor Homer’s other research includes the translation of research into clinical practice particularly in maternity care, clinical risk management strategies, and the development of educational strategies to prepare midwives for practice.

  • Dr Sue Vlack

    Dr Sue Vlack

    Indigenous support

    Sue Vlack is a Public Health Physician, health service researcher and university teacher, with clinical experience in Indigenous community Womens’ and Childrens’ Health. Doctor Vlack chairs the Indigenous Reference Group for Stillbirth Prevention at the Mater, and contributed to development of Indigenous-specific resources about stillbirth prevention for SE Queensland with BabyHelp : When to see your health worker, nurse of doctor, and Indigenous Health Worker Resource Manual for Immunisation, used Queensland wide.  Her PhD project was a mixed methods evaluation of an intervention to increase Indigenous preventive care in General Practice. 

  • Professor Alison Kent

    Professor Alison Kent

    IMPROVE and FGR programmes

    Alison Kent is known nationally and internationally as a clinician and academic with roles in provision of perinatal care, research, and medical education. She is currently a Senior Staff Specialist in Neonatology at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, Canberra. Professor Kent has been invited to teach and speak internationally, including developing countries where she has provided education in perinatal mortality classification and prevention. Currently, Professor Kent is the Chair of the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Perinatal Mortality Committee and the Continuing Practice and Education Committee of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Alliance. Professor Kent also works with the International Stillbirth Alliance sitting on the Scientific Advisory Committee Executive.

  • Ms Claire Foord

    Ms Claire Foord

    Founder and CEO, Still Aware

    Claire is the Founder and CEO of Still Aware. A passionate advocate, Claire hopes to bring about change and a high level of awareness that stillbirth deserves. Claire’s efforts have been recognised when she was awarded South Australia’s Local Hero, in the 2016 Australian of The Year Awards.

  • Professor Michael Coory

    Professor Michael Coory

  • Ms Meleseini Tai-Roche

    Ms Meleseini Tai-Roche

    Bereaved Mother and Midwife, Medical Student, Consumer Advisory Panel for Still Aware

    Meleseini is a mother to 3 children. She is also a Medical Student and Midwife based in New South Wales. Having experienced the stillbirth of her first son Noah at term. Meleseini is incredibly passionate about stillbirth prevention. Mel is determined to ensure the devastating rates of preventable stillbirth decrease across Australia. Mel has experience in clinical care for women and children, health promotion, rural and remote indigenous health, community and health protocol development, management and primary health care research.





  • Ms Danielle Pollock

    Ms Danielle Pollock

    Bereaved Mother, Psychology Graduate, Phd Candidate, Consumer Advisory Panel for Still Aware

    Danielle Pollock is currently a PhD student at the University of South Australia. She is a mother to three young children. After the stillbirth of her daughter Sofia in 2014, she became interested in empowering women. She is researching the education of stillbirth and modifiable health behaviours (Fetal movements/ sleeping on your side), and how stillbirth stigma impacts the pregnant woman and bereaved mother. When she is not working on her PhD she is teaching Psychology to undergraduate students or going on adventures with her family. 

  • Ms Barb Vernon